Cigarette butts can be considered as one of the most common contemporary sources of waste, considering the large consumption of cigarettes all over the world. Despite the fact that different solutions have been developed and tested in the recent years aiming to recycle them, cigarette butts are currently landfilled and incinerated. Following the circular economy principles, the experimental application proposed in this paper is an exploratory investigation on the use of shredded cigarette filters as sustainable alternative to the addition of fibers into Stone Mastic Asphalts (SMAs). This represents the preliminary step for a wider research project, aiming to find a possible recycling solution for cigarette butts as fibers in bituminous materials. The use of fibers is a common and well-established solution for the production of high bitumen content mixtures. The fibers have a double function: acting, generally, as a stabilizing agent and, where possible, improving the mechanical performance of the bituminous mixtures. In the present research, two different SMAs were produced and tested aiming to analyze the effects given by the addition of the shredded cigarette filters. The first asphalt concrete, produced with traditional cellulose fibers was taken as a reference mixture, while the experimental mixture was produced with the shredded cigarette filters. The data highlight interesting and promising results for future development, making the use of waste cigarette filters a potential eco-friendly alternative to common cellulose fibers for SMAs.
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